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7:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Syria Has Accepted Peace Plan, Annan's Spokesman Says

"A spokesman for U.N. envoy Kofi Annan says Syria has accepted his plan to end the bloodshed in the country," The Associated Press reports.

Ahmad Fawzi said the news came in a letter from President Bashar Assad's government to Annan, the former U.N. secretary general who has been trying to broker an end to the Assad regime's crackdown on dissent — which the U.N. estimates has led to the deaths of more than 8,000 people in the past year.

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4:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
Business

Harrisburg Residents May Foot Police Bill

The Pennsylvania capital Harrisburg is more than $300 million in debt. The budget is controlled by a state-appointed custodian. City and law enforcement services are under strain and residents worry violent crime may be growing.

4:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: billion euro real estate. That's how much artist Frank Buckley's Dublin apartment cost. In theory, he actually got the materials for free from Ireland's central bank.

The walls, furniture and detailing in his apartment are all made from bricks of shredded euro notes. Buckley estimates each brick contains 40 or 50,000 euro's worth.

FRANK BUCKLEY: I collected two trailer-fulls of shredded notes - 1.4 billion euro.

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4:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
Law

High Court Delves Into More Health Care Questions

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 5:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: The three-day marathon at the U.S. Supreme Court continues today. The court will hold its second day of hearings on President Obama's health care law. Today, the lawyers and justices will spar over whether the individual mandate is constitutional. That's a requirement that everyone carry health insurance, and it's a central tenant of the law.

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4:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
Business

Business News

Apple CEO Tim Cook has flown in to China to meet with government leaders. He's trying to work out issues ranging from trademark concerns to treatment of local factory workers who make Apple products.

4:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
NPR Story

21st Century Vietnam Leaves War In The Past

Hanoi, Hue, Danang and Saigon, were city names that were stamped on the American psyche a half-century ago, when the U.S. waged war in Vietnam. The once war-torn, Southeast Asian nation has made great strides to leave its troubled past behind.

4:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
Business

Jobs Act Could Expand Funding For Start-Ups

Lawmakers in the House are expected to vote on a jobs act Tuesday. Part of the legislation would allow the public to make investments in start-up companies and small businesses. These companies could raise money online or through social networks. The bill would lift SEC regulations that restrict soliciting investors.

4:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
Religion

Pope To Meet With Cuban President Raul Castro

Pope Benedict is in Cuba, Latin America's least Catholic country. He arrived Monday in Santiago, where Cuba's revolution began in 1953. He urged Cubans to seek unity and overcome their divisions, but his message wasn't especially political.

4:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
Around the Nation

Occupy Groups Reimagine The Bank

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 5:29 pm

Occupy L.A. activists rally outside the Bank of America Plaza in Los Angeles in February. The Occupy protests around the country have inspired two working groups that are attempting to reform the banking system and create an alternative bank.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Groups within the Occupy Wall Street movement are trying to overhaul the banking system and even dream of creating a new kind of bank.

Occupy isn't in the headlines so much these days, but work continues behind the scenes. The Alternative Banking Group of Occupy Wall Street meets weekly in different places. Members are older than some might think — in their 30s, 40s and 50s — and many work or formerly worked in the financial industry.

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12:01am

Tue March 27, 2012
National Security

For U.S. Analysts, Rethinking The Terror Threat

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 10:16 am

U.S. officials are looking more closely for signs of state-sponsored terrorism these days. In this attack, Israel blamed Iran for bombing a car belonging to the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 13. The wife of an Israeli diplomat was injured. Iran denied it was involved.
Joji Thomas AP

There has been a subtle shift taking place in the intelligence community in recent months.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials say analysts and experts who have been tracking al-Qaida for more than a decade have been quietly reassigned. Some are being moved completely out of al-Qaida units. Others are being asked to spend less time watching al-Qaida and more time tracking more traditional foes — like state-sponsored terrorists.

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12:01am

Tue March 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Uninsured Will Still Need The Money To Meet The Mandate

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:32 pm

A bulletin board in New York's Jamaica Hospital offers advice for uninsured patients.
Seth Wenig AP

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court hears its second day of testimony about the Affordable Care Act. At issue is a central tenet of that law: whether it's legal to require individuals to purchase health care.

But apart from the legal debate, there are questions about the economics of the mandate. Some — like Peggy Bodner of Portland, Ore. — worry it may be difficult to find the money to pay for health insurance, even with government subsidies.

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12:01am

Tue March 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

In Haiti, Bureaucratic Delays Stall Mass Cholera Vaccinations

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:56 am

Joseph Francis, 54, says he came to this cholera clinic in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince,after becoming so dehydrated he could barely walk. Cholera has killed more than 7,000 Haitians since the first outbreak of the disease in October 2010. At the start of the rainy season, cases are once again beginning to climb.
John W. Poole NPR

A hundred thousand people in Haiti are ready and waiting to get vaccinated against cholera.

The vaccine is sitting in coolers. Vaccination teams are all trained. Willing recipients are registered and entered into databases.

The impending mass vaccination project aims to show that vaccinating against cholera is feasible in Haiti. It has never been done in the midst of an ongoing cholera epidemic. So far, more than 530,000 Haitians have fallen ill with cholera, and more than 7,000 have died.

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12:01am

Tue March 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Justices Tackle The Big Question: Can Congress Force You To Buy Insurance?

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:25 pm

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether Congress can require people to buy health insurance.
Adam Cole NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court gets to the heart of the health care arguments Tuesday. Almost exactly two years after Congress passed the Obama health care overhaul, the justices are hearing legal arguments testing the constitutionality of the so-called health care mandate — so-called because those words actually do not appear in the law.

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12:01am

Tue March 27, 2012
Movies

'October Baby' Tells A Story Hollywood Wouldn't

First-year college student Hannah (Rachel Hendrix) goes on a road trip in search of her birth mother after she learns she was adopted following a failed attempt at an abortion.
Lovell/Fairchild Communications

October Baby tells the story of 19-year-old Hannah, a first-year college student, who leaves home on a search for her birth mother. In many ways, it's a Hollywood-style road trip movie dealing with questions of identity, but at the movie's core is also a vigorous message about abortion.

In one scene, Hannah tracks down a nurse who worked at the health clinic where her birth mother had sought an abortion — one that failed when Hannah was born prematurely.

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6:44pm

Mon March 26, 2012
The Two-Way

'Decorah Eagle Cam:' First Pip Is Hatching

A close up view of mom, on the nest in Decorah, Iowa.
Raptor Resource Project

A quick update on the Decorah Bald Eagle cam that we've been keeping track of and became quite the sensation last year.

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5:55pm

Mon March 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Outside The Court, Protesters Face-off Over 'Obamacare'

Amid a crowd of Tea Party activists, a supporter of President Obama's health care overhaul displays a sign outside the Supreme Court on Monday.
John Rose NPR

As U.S. Supreme Court justices opened their historic three-day hearing of arguments on President Obama's health care plan, hundreds of protesters from across the country flocked outside the court singing, chanting and arguing with one another.

Supporters and opponents of the law engaged in a sing-song call-and-response debate just in front of the court's towering marble steps.

"We love Obamacare!" shouted supporters.

"No, we don't!" responded members of the Tea Party Patriots, one of the most vocal and disapproving groups of the law present at the court Monday.

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5:36pm

Mon March 26, 2012
The Two-Way

After Failed R-Rating Appeal, Bullying Documentary Will Be Released Unrated

Alex, one of the kids who struggles with bullies in Lee Hirsch's documentary Bully.
Lee Hirsch The Weinstein Company

The documentary Bully will be released unrated.

The decision from the Weinstein Company comes after a very public appeal for the Motion Picture Association of America to overturn its decision to give the bullying documentary an R-rating, which meant anyone younger than 17 would not be permitted without a parent.

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5:36pm

Mon March 26, 2012
The Salt

Does A Chocolate Habit Help Keep You Lean?

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 2:05 pm

Researchers say some compounds in cocoa may help us fend off fat.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

A new study finds that people who eat chocolate several times a week are actually leaner than people who don't eat chocolate regularly.

Really, we asked? Last time we checked chocolate was loaded with fat and sugar. But this new research, along with some prior studies, suggests chocolate may favorably influence metabolism.

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5:30pm

Mon March 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum Would Consider VP Offer From Romney, Man He Daily Derides

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 10:26 am

If on winning the Republican presidential nomination Mitt Romney needs a vice presidential running mate with the proven ability to use a New York Times correspondent as a rhetorical punching bag, Rick Santorum could be available.

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5:03pm

Mon March 26, 2012
All Tech Considered

Wanted: Digital Bloodhounds For The Hotel Industry

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 6:35 pm

Kelsey Blodget of Oyster.com photographs the lobby of New York's Trump SoHo hotel. The website relies on tech-savvy workers to create online reviews and track hotel bookings.
Oyster.com

These days, hotels aren't just looking to hire bellhops, concierges and housekeepers. What the industry really needs are digital bloodhounds: people who understand how to use new technologies to track — and attract — potential guests.

One of those newfangled workers is Greg Bodenlos. At 24, he's just a couple of years out of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. His official title is digital marketing strategist at The Mark Hotel, a luxury hotel in New York City.

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4:43pm

Mon March 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Sarkozy Says France Will Bar Some Muslim Clerics

In the aftermath of the Toulouse shootings, French President Nicholas Sarkozy said his country would bar some Muslim clerics from entering the country.

According to Al Arabiya, Sarkozy said he spoke to the Emir of Qatar to request that Yousef Al-Qarwadi, an Egyptian who is considered one of the most prominent Sunni Muslim clerics, not be allowed to travel to France.

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4:33pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Middle East

Saudi Institute Seeks To Build A Bridge To The West

Under King Abdullah's rule, Saudi Arabia has gradually opened up to the West. The country recently established its first institute to study the West. Here, the king is shown at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Dec. 19.
EPA/Landov

When Fahad A. Alhomoudi was studying for his doctorate in Islamic studies at Canada's McGill University in 2000, he discovered something that bothered him.

"There is, in almost every American and European university, a center for Middle Eastern or Islamic or Arab studies," the Saudi professor recalled in a recent interview in his office in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. "But there was not a single center with a focus on the West in the Middle East."

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4:28pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Reading Between The Lines Of Monday's Supreme Court Arguments

Demonstrators in support of President Obama's health care overhaul march outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
John Rose NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday opened three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the insurance requirement embedded in President Obama's landmark health care law with a simple question and an obscure 1867 law.

The question: Does the court even have the right to hear the health care challenge, given that the Anti-Injunction Act prevents federal courts from taking cases where taxpayers are trying to prevent the government from "assessing or collecting" taxes?

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4:25pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Weight-Loss Surgery May Help Treat, Even Reverse, Diabetes

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 3:33 pm

Cristina Iaboni, a diabetic, underwent gastric bypass surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in the fall of 2009 as part of a study. After losing 50 pounds, her blood sugar was nearly normal. She is pictured here in June 2010.
Thomas Cain AP

Surgical procedures that are commonly used to help obese people lose weight can also dramatically improve — even reverse — diabetes, according to two studies released Monday.

Tim Ferree of Macedonia, Ohio, struggled with his weight for years. He knew his out-of-control blood sugar would eventually cause serious problems.

"You're looking at losing your vision, losing your feet, having problems with your kidneys, going blind — you know, heart disease, strokes," Ferree said.

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4:07pm

Mon March 26, 2012
The Salt

'Pink Slime' Maker Halts Production, But Ground Beef Will Still Contain Trimmings

Beef Products Inc., which turns fatty beef trimmings into a lean beef product that ends up in ground beef, announced today it is suspending operations at three of its four plants. But a company spokesman says the fatty trimmings that safety experts admit can harbor pathogens will still end up in the ground beef supply.

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3:57pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Cat And Dog Take Supreme Court Arguments In Stride

Katherine Prather, a first year medical student at Georgetown University, and her dog, Ellie, showed their support for the health care overhaul law at rally outside the Supreme Court Monday.
Jessica Marcy Kaiser Health News

No circus would be complete without a few animals.

So wouldn't you know the big crowd outside the U.S. Supreme Court today included a cat on a leash and an adorable chihuahua mix with health insurance.

Kaiser Health News' Jessica Marcy snapped the shot of the cat, stretched out on the steps leading to the courthouse, as she was rushing to cover the arrival of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

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3:25pm

Mon March 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Did Corzine Know Money Transfer Came From Customer Account?

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D).
Mario Tama Getty Images

On Friday, we reported that former New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine directly ordered $200 million transfered from a segregated customer account to an MF Global account in London, according to a memo from the House Committee on Financial Services.

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3:09pm

Mon March 26, 2012
It's All Politics

GOP Seizes On Obama Open-Mic Comment To Russian Leader

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 10:26 am

President Obama unwittingly made some not-so-private comments to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a Seoul, South Korea security summit.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

When your political opponent hands you a gift, take it.

That's precisely what Republicans did Monday after President Obama's comment to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, captured on open microphones at a security summit in South Korea s, that Obama's would have more negotiating room on missile defense after the U.S.'s November elections than before.

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3:00pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Law

Supreme Court Justices Weigh Health Care Law

A protester holds up a copy of the U.S. Constitution outside the Supreme Court on Monday in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court signaled Monday that it likely will resolve the constitutional challenge to the Obama health care overhaul, sidestepping the procedural issues that could derail the case until 2015.

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3:00pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Law

Amicus Briefs Examined

The Supreme Court has received more than 100 amicus briefs in the health care cases. Melissa Block and Robert Siegel explain what they are, what's involved and what impact they have.

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